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Toxic religiosity more damaging than ineffective public policy

“In order to be a part of the totalitarian mind-set, it is not necessary to wear a uniform or carry a club or a whip. It is only necessary to wish for your own subjection, and to delight in the subjection of others.”

- Christopher Hitchens

COMMENT | Before I begin, to people who thought that Sheena Gurbakhash’s article, “Why we should be bothered by gendered language during the lockdown” was mock-worthy, we now have this “advice” from the Women and Family Ministry which seems like proto-Handmaid’s tale dogma. The seeds of tyranny are always watered in times of turbulence, as they say. Rational women have always known they would bear the brunt of the attacks by the religious state and they would not be able to rely on other women to support their cause. Sermon over.

I have often argued that the one idea that would most damage this country’s efforts in combating the Covid-19 virus is toxic religiosity. Not only this country but also any country that has a religious component that is incestuously entwined with the political apparatus.

In America for instance, the megachurch impresario Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was recently arrested for defying a “stay at home“ order issued by the authorities of Hillsborough County (Florida). The pastor had bused in parishioners and held a prayer vigil which sounded more like a political rally.

Howard Browne who prayed over the president of the US, Donald Trump, has argued amongst other things that the coronavirus was a ... 

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